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PersonalFullname: Anthony Watt
aka: Tony Watt
Born: 29 Dec 1993
Birthplace: Coatbridge, Scotland
Signed: 4 Jan 2011 (from Airdrie Utd for £80k)
Debut: Motherwell 0-3 Celtic, SPL, 22 April 2012 (scored twice)
Squad No.: 32
Internationals: ? [which international team played for]
International Caps: ? [complete at end of career]
International Goals: ? [complete at end of career]
It was a dream for Tony Watt to play for Celtic, even though he had a one day trial at Rangers(!) and a short trial at Liverpool, but Celtic was always his first love and first pick, and he worked his way to the first team and repaid them in full.
A dream debut for Tony Watt in the 3-0 win over Motherwell (match) shot Tony Watt into the limelight. He scored a double that day that won the match after the team had toiled for just anything prior his substitution on to the field. He was a little lucky as he was suspended from the Scottish Youth cup final match the day after and so got his chance in the full team for this game and what a way to repay all the staff! The youth team won 8-0 the next day in any case v QoTS!
If anyone doubted he was to make his mark he was about to make it in the most incredible of manners. Amazingly he had scored around six goals for Celtic upto November 2012 but all of them were whilst playing away. So when was he to finally score at home? Amazingly, it was against the highly lauded Barcelona side in the Champions League (what timing!). A long ball from Forster saw Tony Watt lose his man get the ball carry on the run and bury it into the corner of the net to seal the second goal in a 2-1 win against one of the greatest sides of all time. He had written his name into Celtic folklore for that as we beat them to record one of our finest ever victories in Europe.. Remember not long ago he was playing for Airdrie and was bought for peanuts, and he just scored the winner against Barcelona in the Champions League. It was the week of the 125th anniversary of Celtic (St Mary's meeting), and he had made it a magical time for all.
Playing Career[Table to indicate clubs played for, including dates, transfers and fees where known [e.g. soccerbase table]]
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with Celtic[Indicate any known awards (player of the year, etc)]
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Interview: Tony Watt, Celtic FC playerAfter his move from Airdrie to Celtic, Tony Watt is eyeing a tilt at Europe, reports Andrew Smith
NO young player is going to forget the trial game that wins them a contract with their boyhood heroes. But Tony Watt might have more reason than most to recall the November day he played for Celtic under-19s against Liverpool at Celtic Park, where he has previously been a season-ticket holder. It was memorable for Watt because he earned two penalties and in the process a 100,000 move from Airdrie United, the 17-year-old signing a three-year deal this month.
The encounter was part of a pilot scheme to establish what is being billed as a European youth league. The intention is that an under-18 version of the Champions League, given the billing the New Generation League, will begin in September. Featuring the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, the two Milan clubs, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax and Bayern Munich among its 16 entrants, Celtic would be the only Scottish club in one of the four groups whose games would be staged in the autumn. The plan is that post-Christmas play-offs would be held in the Middle East, giving young players the experience of coping with the demands inherent in playing top-class competitive continental competition.
Watt admits the promise of playing in such a prestigious tournament meant Celtic could offer him something many of his suitors, such as Blackburn and Bolton, could not. "It is a step ahead," he says. Frankly, though, the Coatbridge youngster didn't need any extra incentives to commit himself where he has chosen to do so. "Celtic is where I want to be," he says.
Watt had trials with Liverpool in September and spent a day with Rangers in December, adverse weather preventing him playing a trial game at Murray Park. His duties with Airdrie, and a repeatedly postponed Scottish Cup tie with Beith put the mockers on him going to Hearts and Hamilton for a week, as well as Fulham and Blackburn and Bolton. "It was nice to know that teams were looking at you and you might be good enough," he says. Teams including Rangers. "They are a big club, so it was good to hear, but Celtic put in a bid and I would have chosen them over anybody."
Not merely for starry-eyed reasons, says Watt, who went with his uncle to home games until last season, but for a pragmatic one, too. In Lennoxtown becoming his base, the forward has no concerns over homesickness. This is the sort of level-headed approach Watt exhibits often in conversation. A contrast, say those who have seen him play, with a hard-headed on-field approach, his physicality to the fore in the 15 games that have brought him three goals for Airdrie this season.
Watt knows what he might be worth and is honest enough to admit he wasn't overly concerned about whether an offer from Celtic would be made after the Liverpool game. It came two days later, in a phone-call from the club's head of youth development Chris McCart. "I was positive," he says. "I thought they had liked what they saw and obviously they did. I thought I had done well and hadn't felt out of place, or that I wasn't near the standard. The two days waiting were long, aye, but I been told it wasn't going to happen overnight, and obviously it came through. Because I grew up a Celtic supporter it was a joy to get it done. That had made it a great feeling to run out at Celtic Park too. There weren't a lot of people there but there were important people I wanted to impress. Kenny Dalglish and Chris McCart and that and I did OK."
Now Watt can reflect on a January wherein "there have been a lot of good things that have happened" to him. The latest is being awarded the Irn-Bru young player of the year of the month for December, the teenager bringing his time at Airdrie to a close with a last-minute winner away to Alloa. It seems he has a canny knack of grand exits and entrances. Watt picked up his Irn Bru award fresh from scoring on his signed debut for Celtic in auspicious circumstances. His goal was netted against Russian club Krylia Sovetov 3-1 on Sunday at the end of 14 days in a training camp in Turkey. Celtic, along with Rangers and Queen's Park, were there benefiting from the Leonardo da Vinci Coaching Initiative, a programme funded by the European Union and which can be utilised by clubs who major on youth training and development.
"The weather was good, the food was good, then training was good, the game was good," says Watt. "It was weird playing against a Russian team — I had never done that before. You can tell the coaches know what they are doing and the training was excellent. The attacking and defending, it was all done to a T. There were a lot of good players round me."
And Watt believes his move, only 15 months on from him being on the books of his local boys' club, shows that good young Scottish players are not all holed up in the academies of the elite clubs. "There is a lot of talent down the divisions," says the player who cut his teeth in the second. "Guys at Airdrie and others I have played against. Rory McAllister of Brechin is not that young (he is 23] but he is scoring for fun. It is just about getting the opportunity."
Watt has been given that at a tender age. And with the possibility of a Celtic B team in the lower divisions as well as an under-18 side playing heavyweight European counterparts, surrendering senior football to join Celtic's youth ranks may not be the sacrifice it was in the past.
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, Nov 9 2012, 8:34 AM EST
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